Now that it’s November and the clocks have gone back and we’ve swapped outdoor fun for indoor warmth, I feel we can legitimately start mentioning Christmas! We love it in our house because friends and family like to drop in over the holidays, it becomes "Open House" season. The children (well, grown up kids now) come home normally with one or two extras. which does sometimes present a challenge on the seating front, not to mention extra food. It becomes a time for board games and cheese boards.
In fact that’s one of the reasons I started Armadillo Sun and a range of adult bean bag chairs, as some easy and portable fall-back furniture for when unexpected extra guests come round. They are so easy to pull out and use as extra seating during family games, then scatter round the house when you're done. They’re waterproof too, which means you don’t have to worry about spills, something that happens quite a lot in our household!
With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to share some tips I’ve learnt over the years on surviving the Christmas period stress-free, when you have a house full of family and extra guests.
Stock up the freezer
We’re a big fan of food that can be put in the oven straight from the freezer. It makes entertaining so much easier at Christmas. I try to think ahead and make sauces and stocks that can easily be frozen, which helps to speed up meal prep at a later date, but also freeze whole dishes like casseroles and lasagnes. It’s also very useful to have some ready made pastry in there and extra loaves of bread. You can freeze milk too if need be. And don’t forget a plentiful supply of ice for those essential Christmas drinks!
Stock up on extra chairs and stools
As I’ve already mentioned, this used to be a real problem in our house. We never had enough chairs or side tables to accommodate everyone, so there would always be some people sitting on the floor, drinks and plates of food next to them, which would invariably get spilled…which led me to researching lightweight, easy to store, waterproof materials for alternative seating, and the Armadillo Sun bean bag chairs and tables were born!
Don’t sweat the small stuff
It’s Christmas. People are out to enjoy themselves. Nobody really notices if all your cutlery doesn’t quite match or you’re only using paper napkins. Or if they do, you shouldn’t care! Life’s too short to worry too much about the small stuff. Unless it’s red wine spills on a white sofa. That doesn’t come out, trust me. The best way to avoid that is to hide the white sofa and put out some wipe-clean beanbags instead. We’ve learnt the hard way!
Ask for help, even if you are superwoman!
Another lesson I’ve learnt the hard way - don’t try to do everything yourself! It’s hard work and you want to enjoy your Christmas too. So draft in some help from the rest of the household, and you’ll probably find that you all enjoy it a whole lot more. In our house the chatter round the table is louder than the music!